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As you know, good metabolism is the key to keeping your weight in check. However, despite all your efforts, if you fail to take care of the following things, you could slow your metabolism.
There are 8 mistakes you might be making that are probably slowing down your body’s metabolic rate. If you don’t kick these habits away, you might have to work twice or thrice as hard to lose weight. Worse, you could end up gaining more.
Here they are…
1. Not Taking in Enough Calories
Yes, you do need to cut down on calories to lose weight, but it can work against you if the caloric intake drops too low. You see, when your body senses a lack of source of energy, meaning calories, it slows down the rate at which it burns fat.
To prove that, a study was conducted which showed that the metabolic rate of those who consumed 1114 calories slowed down more than twice compared to those who consumed 1400 calories every day.
2. Watching TV While You Eat
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the findings of a study conducted on two groups of people. It was about how distracted eating had an impact on metabolism. The study led to two conclusions:
- People who ate their meals while watching TV ate more than those who didn’t.
- Those who paid attention to what they were eating, ate lesser later.
The best way to avoid overeating is to do so more mindfully. In other words, don’t sit in front of the TV when you eat.
3. Skipping meals
Skipping meals – particularly breakfast is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as someone who is trying to lose weight. Eating within one hour of getting up sparks ‘thermogenesis’, a metabolic process which turns food into energy.
When you don’t eat breakfast, your body is forced to conserve energy thus holding on to the fat that you are so vigorously trying to get rid of. Therefore, it’s imperative that you eat small but complete meals throughout the day.
4. Lack of Proper Exercise
Okay, so this one is a no brainer. There’s no question that a good exercise regimen improves metabolic rate. As a matter of fact, after you exercise, your body continues to burn calories through the day.
Movement is essential for the body to rid of excess fat and burn calories. If you can commit to it, go for morning exercise because that gives you a larger time window to burn calories throughout the day.
5. Avoiding Carbs
Yes, carbs do translate to weight gain. But, you do need enough carbs for the body to produce insulin. Consuming a low carb diet for a long period of time leads to low production of insulin which stalls the metabolism and you don’t burn as many calories as you would like to.
Instead of shunning the carbs completely, go for sources like grains, vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, etc.
6. Lack of Sleep
One of the studies published online which centered around the relationship between metabolic rate and sleep further stipulated how sleep deprivation can make you fat. It showed that the participating adults who got only four hours of sleep for five consecutive nights experienced a decrease in their resting metabolic rate by approximately 2.6%.
This rate returned back to normal after twelve hours of regularized sleep. If you find it hard to achieve steady sleep at night or suffer from any kind of sleeping disorder, then one of the best bet is to drink chamomile tea. This is an all-natural, herbal remedy with no side-effects.
7. Skipping on Proteins
Not only do proteins keep you feeling fuller, but they also govern how fast your body burns up calories. Thermic Effect of Food or TEF is the improvement in the metabolic rate which happens post-digestion. This effect is higher for proteins compared to fats or carbs. Research also stipulates that protein consumption can temporarily improve metabolism by up to 30%.
8. Lack of Proper Hydration
It should come as no surprise that water governs almost every bodily function; metabolism being one of those. Muscles, which are the machines that burn calories become slow in a dehydrated state.
70% of bodily muscles are made up of water. When they sense a lack of hydration, their functioning becomes severely inhibited. In fact, you can check out this study, which directly sheds light on how better hydration is directly linked with weight loss.
The Bottom Line
These are some small but meaningful lifestyle behaviors that can drastically impact how you maintain your goal weight. If you are making any of these mistakes, do get into the habit of slowly correcting them.
Rylie is freelance writer, fitness blogger, and travel junkie. Originally from Toronto, she currently resides in Lima, Peru but is always on the move to discover new adventures.